MCDONALD’S, COCA-COLA and Tesco are among the 62 food and drink companies involved in the first ever assessment of corporate water management. In all, 700 of the world’s largest companies are expected to disclose information on their efforts to reduce water use as part of a new project run by the Carbon Disclosure Project.
CDP has been requesting water management data for five years already, but information on dependencies, risks and opportunities remains “weak and inconsistent”. The new reporting system is expected to plug the gaps.
“Taking [things] that one step further by introducing credible scoring will catalyse further action,” explained Cate Lamb, head of CDP’s water programme, in an article for Footprint. “It also illuminates where companies can improve their performance and the quality of the information they report.”
UK food and drink businesses reduced water use by 15% (six million m3) between 2007 and 2014 as part of the voluntary Federation House Commitment. However, the amount of water used in products increased by 10% (or around two million m3).
The Food & Drink Federation and Dairy UK have now taken on responsibility for further reductions across the sector. Much like the CDP, the focus will be on “transparency and disclosure”, FDF notes on its website.
Detailed figures on water usage and management across foodservice and catering are harder to come by. A survey by Allegra found that 84% of consultants said water is the food security issue likely to have the greatest impact on the sector.